Thursday, 31 January 2013

Sweet peas and paving slabs

Well, the Sweet Peas are up!

They've been enjoying  a lovely time sunbathing on the window ledge but the time is fast approaching for them to experience the big wide world....

So work on the greenhouse has begun....

Hmmm, I hope he's got that measurement right, better not chatter while he's concentrating, men can't multi task :-)

The next stage will be glazing, but, oh goodie all the panes will have to be washed before putting them in place, I wonder if I'm going to be busy washing or something for the next few days!

You can see them resting against the fence, with the extremely heavy paving slabs that we collected from  Freecycle, good job my DH works out, I couldn't even lift a corner.

We've got the nest boxes up, (well not me personally) I'm more into the supervising roll....

And now we've got our eye on the next door plot, which hasn't been worked for a while and the insider info is that it may become vacant before long, here's hoping.

The perfect place to put my summer house.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Birthday boy

It was my DH's birthday on Thursday and he's been celebrating ever since....

On Wednesday our daughter Hannah took us both out for a lovely lunch where we all had a fabulous meal and a super family catch up.

On Thursday he went to the gym with some new ideas from his new book from me on even more gruelling exercises than he already knew about! In the evening I did the domestic goddess bit and cooked him a fish pie, his favourite meal at the moment, well you have to do it just once a year don't you......

On Friday our daughter Nicola cooked us a super healthy meal with lots of salad, olives, peppers and spatchcock chicken with vegetable rice. In the morning we had full English breakfast followed by birthday cake, as we'd had such a feast the night before that we could never have fitted it in.

Today we had a lovely meal with our daughter Pru, wonderful salmon quiche, dips and new potatoes followed of course by a hedgehog birthday cake, chosen by grandson Asher.

He received lots of lovely gardening presents ready for the big dig now the snow has gone.

What a spoilt birthday boy.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Synchronicity and bad spelling

Had a lovely impromptu coffee chat with our DD1 this morning and while chatting about my current textile project, the lace panels, she commented on my latest piece which was still pinned on the plastic backing waiting to dry.

 She said she really liked the plastic backing, which I said was't part of the lace, but it made me think and when I peeled it away it still had a lot of the PVA water soluble backing still there, and instead of re-washing it I looked more closely and really liked the effect.

You can see it best in the circles in this pic.

So thank you for your input DD1, but not for the telling off for my embarrassing spelling, trouble is I don't always have a spell check on the posts that I put up and since having one with Blogger I've forgotten how to spell, and worse still I don't have a dictionary, so I think the answer is to look at the correct spelling and remember it. And yes I know that this sentence was too long ;-) Talk about pay back, I feel like I'll be having my homework checked on every post!

Anyway back to the creative thing, I thought I'd show you panel 16 (there will be 20 in all) as I think I'm getting the hang of it now.

This will look a lot different when the W/S backing has been washed away.

And this is what they look like after washing and waiting to dry.

Hopefully if all goes well I will be able to reveal the finished piece in a couple of weeks.

PS I have proof read this post, but promise nothing :-)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Tales from the plot and other things

Turn right for plot 6

Another escape to the land of Narnia today, but this time we went prepared....

Oh yes, once through the shed door we were in the land of afternoon tea, the only thing was, that on the other side the snow was still there...

But in true explorer style we had taken supplies, our own version of Kendle mint cake, my DH's legendary ginger cake. It has a reputation for calming the most ferocious foe!

Still no time to dawdle, repairs to the homestead need to be done....

Meanwhile back at the ranch my wonderful wholemeal bread was cooking itself, well the breadmaker was helping it. I've discovered this amazing flour that makes the perfect wholemeal loaf, believe me I have been searching for such a flour for years. 

And lastly when I got home this lovely pic of our grandson was waiting in my emails from our DS

Not only was it a great shot but the angle intrigued me and I wondered how it would be to sketch him upside down, having done similar art exercises.

It did seem to have a freeing up effect as I was following the lines and not trying to get the likeness, I did have to cheat a bit and flip the paper round when I got to his mouth, but having adjusted it a bit I finished the sketch upside down.

And this is how it looked when I flipped it round.

An interesting and very enjoyable exercise.


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Cabin Fever

We were really feeling the effects of cabin fever today, we cannot get out of our drive and and down the road as one is masquerading as a skating rink, the other a ski slope.

So we decided to have a walk and see what our allotment looked like in the snow....

Seems no-one is as daft as us these were our footprints, the only ones on the site.

I must admit I got side tracked with our neighbour's summer house,

Hmm... I want one, 

So when I got home I made one up, complete with raised beds, potatoes in their tubs, lettuces, onions, sweet peas and of course artichokes, don't suppose the gardener will approve of my choices ;-)

I got further side tracked with some texture shots.

And the bargain of the week were these planters that we saw in a local flower shop £5.0 for 2.

We were so pleased that on the way home we bought another 2, one of which is now housing our sweet pea seeds on a lovely warm window ledge, with nice warm compost for them to dangle their toes in, now you see what cabin fever has done.......

Monday, 14 January 2013

Never ending!

There seems to be a somewhat elastic feeling going on with the last assessment piece for my C&G, every time I think I'm getting closer to the end it seems to grow. I started out thinking I would need 12 panels like the one on the left of the pic and now I've worked out it will take 20! Nine more to go.

The panel on the right is pinned out after washing the watersoluble medium away.

I'm so looking forward to finishing.......

Saturday, 12 January 2013

More allotment news

Things are moving on with the allotment, amazingly one of the other allotment holders has given us a greenhouse, how cool is that ?

Just needs glazing but I think most of the panes came with it.

We've been busy doing lots of clearing.......

And digging, well my DH has, I 'm a bit of a weakling, so I just fluff around and try to look strong.....

And then there's the, must have coffee stops with chocolate biscuits of course.

The green lean-to thingy's our neighbour's !!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

We did it

We found out this evening that we are now the proud renters of plot 6 on our local allotment, so many thanks to all those lovely people who stopped by my blog with your lovely comments and positive vibes.

And because I hate a post without pics here's some random garden type shots.....

Pumpkins and squashes, yes please.

hmmm, I wonder.....

A little too formal do you think.

Next pics will be the real thing :-)

Other news, we went to see Quartet at the the cinema today, well it is Orange Wednesday again. If you're over 55 and dreading your 60th or even nearly 4 years past it and still smarting, this is a must see film. All the actors and actresses are so well cast, with Maggie Smith and Billy Connoly giving outstanding performances. It's such a feel good film for those of us who just cannot get to grips with the ageing process. If you go and see it, it will have you in stitches one minute and reaching for the tissues the next, it's wonderful.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Morning jolly

This morning we went to Midhurst on the bus, well as we both have bus passes it would have been rude not to....

I had to pick up some more nuts and bolts from the hardware store for my final assessment piece, having bought 8 the other week and failed to find the same ones anywhere else in the entire Home Counties.

Anyway, the sun was just about shining when we arrived, so we had our pic-nic coffee by the castle.

And very welcome it was too. We had a trawl of the charity shops, as I was looking for gardening clothes, and I found a pair of jeans that were just perfect, next find has to be wellies.

On the subject of gardening we found some lovely seed potatoes in the hardware shop but my DH said we have to wait till we've signed the contract........ shame

I was rifling though an old sketchbook looking for a spare page tonight and found a magazine pic I'd collected for my wish list garden, so I thought I'd use it as a positive thinking sketch for today, hope it works. The summer house is already on the list, wonder how hard it is to grow artichokes. 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Waiting optimistically

We didn't get any news about our request for plot 6 allotment on Friday, as we hoped we would, so we decided to go for a walk just to have another look at it anyway.

A bit of positive thinking........

And a look at the view, it was very misty this morning.......

Before we arrived at 'our hoped for plot' we had a look at some of the others.

And found these early beauties, what a feast for winter eyes.

How about this for a great way of recycling wellies.

Or even orphaned ones......

I expect you'll be seeing a lot of this small haven in the future, I certainly hope so.

Maybe we'll have news tomorrow.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Lean pickings

Sometimes when I'm looking for a subject for my daily sketch it gets very difficult to find something new. Tonight I picked over some samples to see if anything resonated and I found a couple of challenging ones.

Having bought a new Pitt pastel white pecil today I wanted to try it out as the old one was dried out.

It was a good challenge to try and follow the stitch layouts on this one.

And this one was a good trial for pleats and tranparrency, lots of see through layers.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Orange Wednesday

We went to see The Hobbit yesterday, with our Orange Wednesday 2 for I and it was magnificent. The 3D effects were truly amazing, I felt as if I was in the battle scenes personally. I have to say I'm a total addict, having read the books and seen all of the Lord of The Ring Trilogy, it was total escapism. Can't wait for the next one.

As I have no other images to show you it'll have to be a couple of the dialy skeches, not with the easle this time as those need improving, but I'm getting there.

An oyster shell from my winter collection of source materials.

My favourite piece of dritwood, I think it looks like an animal with a head at both ends.

Can't wait to go to the seaside again to collect more treasures.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Allotment wish

As some of you will know we moved 2 years ago from a 3 bedroom house to a 1 bedroom flat, which although it is perfect for our lifestyle, it doesn't have a personal garden, so we have been on the allotment list for about a year and a half.

 Finally we are in sight of having one and went down to the plots today to have a look round. We were delighted to see that there was a list of vacant ones and discovered this perfect plot.

This is plot 6 and there are 3 others available, but this one would be perfect for our purposes so family and friends please send us good vibes to help us get it, and we'll pay you back with lovely fresh vegetables and flowers.

I'll keep you posted.

While on the walk there I saw these  lovely shadows........

It's so nice to have a sunny day at last after all that rain.